Parrot 3.8.0 "Magrathea" Released

Kevin Polulak kpolulak at
Wed Sep 21 03:48:51 UTC 2011

On behalf of the Parrot team, I'm proud to announce Parrot 3.8.0, also known
as "Magrathea". Parrot ( is a virtual machine aimed at
running all dynamic languages.

Parrot 3.8.0 is available on Parrot's FTP site (, or by following the
download instructions at For those who would
like to develop on Parrot, or help develop Parrot itself, we recommend using
Git to retrieve the source code to get the latest and best Parrot code.

Parrot 3.8.0 News:
    - Core
      + New tools/release/ script automates most of release
    - Languages
      + Winxed
        - Updated snapshot to version 1.2.0
        - allowtailcall modifier in try
        --debug command-line option, __DEBUG__ predefined constant
        and __ASSERT__ builtin
        - namespace, class, and ~ (bitwise not) operators
        - Implicit nested namespace in namespace and class
        - -X command-line arg
    - Documentation
      + Improved release manager guide
    - Tests
      + New Makefile target "resubmit_smolder" to resubmit test results
      + New Makefile target "all_hll_test" runs the test suite of all
HLLs and libraries known to work on Parrot
      + New Makefile target "interop_tests" run language
interoperability tests, which runs as part of the normal "make test"
as well

The SHA256 message digests for the downloadable tarballs are:






Many thanks to all our contributors for making this possible, and our
sponsors for supporting this project. Our next scheduled release is 18
October 2011.


Excerpt from *The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy*, page 634784, section
5a. Entry: *Magrathea*

*Far back in the mists of ancient time, in the great and glorious days of
the former Galactic Empire, life was wild, rich and largely tax free. Mighty
starships plied their way between exotic suns, seeking adventure and reward
among the farthest reaches of Galactic space. In those days spirits were
brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women and
small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures
from Alpha Centauri. And all dared to brave unknown terrors, to do mighty
deeds, to boldly split infinitives that no man had split before – and thus
was the Empire forged.*

Many men of course became extremely rich, but this was perfectly natural and
nothing to be ashamed of because no one was really poor – at least no one
worth speaking of. And for all the richest and most successful merchants
life inevitably became rather dull and niggly, and they began to imagine
that this was therefore the fault of the worlds they'd settled on. None of
them was entirely satisfactory: either the climate wasn't quite right in the
later part of the afternoon, or the day was half an hour too long, or the
sea was exactly the wrong shade of pink.

And thus were created the conditions for a staggering new form of specialist
industry; custom-made luxury planet building. The home of this industry was
the planet Magrathea, where hyperspatial engineers sucked matter through
white holes in space to form it into dream planets – gold planets, platinum
planets, soft rubber planets with lots of earthquakes – all lovingly made to
meet the exacting standards that the Galaxy's richest men naturally came to

But so successful was this venture that Magrathea itself soon became the
richest planet of all time and the rest of the Galaxy was reduced to abject
poverty. And so the system broke down, the Empire collapsed, and a long
sullen silence settled over a billion hungry worlds, disturbed only by the
pen scratchings of scholars as they labored into the night over smug little
treatises on the value of a planned political economy.

Magrathea itself disappeared and its memory soon passed into the obscurity
of legend.

*In these enlightened days, of course, no one believes a word of it.*
- Kevin Polulak (soh_cah_toa)
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